Community Organiser for EA London
You should make this a post as I think there could be a lot of interest.
I don’t have an answer but you may get more responses on the EA Careers Discussion Facebook group or one of the Effective Environmentalism spaces.
I’d be slightly surprised if it led to a single donation, I’m not even sure how many searches it would lead to
I think for most people who hadn’t heard of EA, it’s very unlikely that they’ll start searching for it online after hearing about it briefly on daytime TV. For those that have already heard about EA it may just reinforce what they already think about it, some positive and some negative. Even just the phrase effective altruism can be interpreted as arrogant if you don’t spend some time explaining what you mean.
I prefer people to have high value impressions when they come across EA, whether that’s online/in person, rather than having more but less valuable touch points.
I would avoid mentioning EA, it seems hard to get across nuance in 20 seconds and there seems to be a lot of misinterpretation even in longer form media.
Mentioning what you study/plan to work on and where to donate seems like a fine thing to do.
I would say that, given that you’re already doing some projects in the EA & software development space, that you should consider building that network more comprehensively.
At the moment you are coaching, creating a volunteer board and listing impactful companies which is a few projects but you could build the ecosystem for EA & Software. This could be similar to what the EA Consulting Network is doing, with their recent hire of a full time person.
I think this would hit a few of your requirements of being meta, not earning to give, involves software knowledge, early stage project but not as stressful as a startup and with coaching/advising. Although it would involve remote work but that could be solved by having an EA Israel coworking space. Potentially this could also grow to more than 1 person if you’re seeing signs of impact.
Some things I think you could do as part of building the EA Software ecosystem.
You could be the go to person when someone involved in software wants to get more involved in EA
The go to person when someone at an EA org wants to find software people or know more about the space
You could set up a mentorship network similar to WANBAM
You could have more in depth research on how to have impact in tech. 80,000 hours can only dedicate so much time and limited knowledge of the global tech ecosystem to this area, some of their software articles haven’t been updated since 2015
Newsletter updating people in EA & software on job/volunteer opportunities, startup ideas, stories of impact
If this sounds potentially interesting let me know and we can chat in more depth about ways of making this happen.
I think if you can’t find the space you are looking for you should create something (at least a low cost version) and then if someone tells you of an existing space that works, then you can inform the people who have already joined.
Even if the space isn’t particularly active it gives future organisers a starting space and potential people to contact who may be interested.
I think the main case where creating a space could be wrong is if the admin is bad at moderation and not open to improving the space. This also provides an incentive for creating spaces because if you don’t, someone else could create that space which then gives a bad impression for others who wanted to get more involved.
I don’t think it would be bad for there to be a workspace for each major cause/career area. It seems that there probably should be somewhere in between Facebook and the EA Forum for people to have discussions about causes they care about. I’ve written more about this here. Ideally the forum would be able to support sub forums, but it seems unlikely to happen soon.
I set up a Slack for groups that are smaller but still want to use it for discussion. At the moment it is mainly used by the EA & metascience subcommunity and sometimes by FIRE & EA. I thought it would be a good space whilst subcommunities are small to see if there is enough demand for their own space. If you want you could use channels on there to start groups you wanted to see.
Choosing the right online space can make a difference, especially if people you want to join don’t already use the product you’re suggesting. Different spaces also allow for different tools/culture/vibe, there is a brief overview of some pros/cons here but it will depend on your target audience.Maybe there are also more general question to ask if you’re thinking about coaching or nuclear risk sub communities, some of which may be here. If you think there should be an online discussion space, how does that fit into the wider ecosystem for the subcommunity.
Is it possible to opt in to be seen by both virtual and in person attendees? In the past I’ve found the connections via virtual events to be super valuable.
There was this response by Hadyn Belfield to the longtermism article a few months ago.
I also don’t think that William MacAskill has to be the person that responds to each criticism if there are others better placed to respond.
It’s sometimes a bit of a slog but also relatively short and I was constantly impressed by the scope of the book and the variety of interesting ideas for something written in the 1930′s.
I recently read Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon after a conversation in which someone said that it inspired them to think about longtermism related ideas way before they had heard of effective altruism.
It covers a fictionalised history of the universe from the beginning to end, more like a documentary or a textbook than a novel with characters and plot. It’s from the point of view of someone who is picked up from a hill in England and then moved around the galaxy and observes other civilisations in a variety of times throughout the life of the universe.
It’s written in 1937 and was said to inspire people like Arthur C. Clarke, Freeman Dyson and Jorge Luis Borges and includes speculation on civilisational unity and collapse, space exploration, metaverse, future technology, genetic engineering and existential risks.
There is also an Airtable version of that directory that is more up to date, I’ll update the google sheet
Is engagement the thing you want to optimise for over impact or are the two highly correlated for you?